STEM Programs Manager, USC Joint Educational Project
Mrs. Dieuwertje Kast is being recognized for her work with a gamut of organizations such as the University of Southern California’s (USC) Joint Educational Project (JEP), USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative, USC SeaGrant, USC QuikScience, USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, USC Rossier, USC Green Engagement Fund, Green Ambassadors, NOAA Teacher at Sea, Ocean Exploration Trust, NOAA Climate Stewards Education Program (CSEP), National Marine Education Association (NMEA) and PolarTREC.
Mrs. Kast primarily engages approximately 3000 low-income students and their family since 2014 in a variety of environmental issues through 3 STEM programs (USC Wonderkids, USC Young Scientists Program (both hosted through the USC Joint Educational Project), and USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative STEM program that the University of Southern California hosts in the Los Angeles area. Mrs. Kast currently creates lesson plans that bring environmental awareness to its participants and highlights the importance of understanding and working toward decreasing our impact to our environment.
Mrs. Kast sees herself as a “green” model for her students by bringing them the latest in environmental science which is achieved by translating and incorporating the information into teachable lesson plans. Mrs. Kast firmly believes that environmental education should be an integral part of K-12 classrooms as they prepare the next generation of scientists, climate experts, technicians and science educators of the future. Mrs. Kast also sees it as her job to inspire her students to take a more hands on approach to protecting our environment and to make positive contribution to our planet.